New Layer

New Layer

tannerchristensen.com/new-layer-podcast
A conversation on everything related to digital product design, with hosts Tanner Christensen and Jasmine Friedl. Discussing design careers, tools, education, critique, and much more. New episodes on Wednesdays!


30 Books Every Designer Should Read
Apr 29 • 29 min
Tanner and Jasmine share their must-read books for designers. Spanning everything from how to conduct design critique or present your work, to what makes a good manager and how learning about org design can help your understanding of the work you do. The…
Joining a New Team
Apr 1 • 43 min
Joining a new team or company? There’s a lot you can do up-front to ensure you set the stage for your career. More than that: the insights shared here are applicable for everyone, not just those joining a team for the first time. From dedicating time to…
Working Remotely
Mar 25 • 41 min
When everyone on your team is working remotely—physically apart—how do you ensure you stay productive? How do you avoid burning out, unnecessary distractions, or worse? In this episode of the podcast Jasmine and Tanner share tips and insights into the…
Presenting Work for Critique
Mar 18 • 41 min
What’s the best way to present your design work in a critique? There are a number of designers can do to ensure the feedback they get in critique is helpful, actionable, and levels-up not only themselves but their team too. Things like preparing by…
Building Self Awareness
Mar 11 • 40 min
What is self awareness and why does it matter? In this episode of New Layer Jasmine and Tanner explain how the more you understand yourself, the more impactful you can be. If you’re going to be an impactful designer you have to know how you work best and…
Estimating Design Projects
Mar 4 • 39 min
How do you scope the work of a design project? What do you do when someone asks: “How long will this take to design?” An important component of product design is the ability to estimate how much time and effort a task or project will take, but estimations…
Giving Feedback Part 2
Feb 26 • 40 min
This is the second part of a two-part episode. Previously, Jasmine and Tanner discussed why it’s important to give constructive and timely feedback to those we work with, as well as how to best take critical feedback even when you disagree with it. In…
Giving Feedback Part 1
Feb 19 • 40 min
As product designers it’s important to learn how to give constructive, actionable, and timely feedback to everyone we work with. That means not only feedback for our design peers, but also to product managers, engineers, researchers, writers, and more.…
What’s Next for Design
Feb 12 • 39 min
What should designers focus on in order to build a future-proof and sustainable career? VR, AR, AI, blockchain, neumorphism, what’s next for design? In this episode Jasmine and Tanner discuss emerging predictions about the future of design and why the…
The Right Tool for the Job
Dec 4, 2019 • 42 min
As a designer, how do you pick the right tool for the job? What should you look for in your design tools and what should you avoid? Trending tools might not be all they’re hyped up to be, and there will always be a new and exciting tool in the market, so…
IC or Management
Nov 27, 2019 • 45 min
Should you work to become a director-level individual contributor (IC) or work to become a people manager? Both roles are critical in a mature organization, but each has distinctive responsibilities. One focuses on the craft of the product design work…
Considering Research (with Guest Paul Derby)
Nov 13, 2019 • 43 min
What is design research, how does it work, and what can product designers do to integrate research into their process today? In this special episode of New Layer, Tanner is joined by special guest Paul Derby, UX research manager at Chan Zuckerberg…
Asking Questions in Interviews
Nov 6, 2019 • 44 min
When it comes to interviewing the last thing you want to do is follow a template of questions to ask. Instead, treat the interview as an opportunity to learn the deep truth about the company you’re interviewing with and give them a chance to learn about…
Making Time for Thinking
Oct 30, 2019 • 43 min
Making time for thinking and giving yourself space to think about the work you do as a product designer is crucial. But time away from what we often see as the “work” of a designer—the pixels, the prototypes, wireframes—can feel like procrastination. How…
Myth of the Lone Designer
Oct 23, 2019 • 42 min
Do designers show more value when they go off on their own to solve a problem, or when they include others in their process? It can feel counterintuitive to prove value and skills by incorporating others into your process, but the reality is designers…
How to Set Yourself Apart
Oct 16, 2019 • 45 min
In an industry that is growing more every day, how do product designers set themselves apart from the competition? The answer, as Tanner and Jasmine discuss in this episode of the podcast, might be in specializing, looking at niche spaces to work in, and…
Avoiding Burnout
Oct 9, 2019 • 44 min
Burnout is what you experience when everything that fuels you gets used up too quickly. In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner talk about what it feels like to have burnout, what typically causes burnout, and the types of things you can do to…
What to Look for in a Job
Oct 2, 2019 • 43 min
If you’re seeking your first product design job or you twentieth, what exactly should you look for? From compensation and company culture, to responsibilities and job title, what matters most? The answer, as Tanner and Jasmine discuss in this episode,…
Setting Expectations for Yourself
Sep 18, 2019 • 46 min
When it comes to your career: how do you set expectations for yourself? How does setting your own expectations for a project differ from that of setting them for a promotion? When it comes to expectations we can often misguide ourselves, much to our…
Soft Skills
Sep 11, 2019 • 45 min
What are soft skills and why do they matter for product designers? How do you identify what soft skills matter most for a specific role and how do you improve your soft skills? In this episode Jasmine and Tanner discuss soft skills: strong communication,…
Mentorship
Sep 4, 2019 • 47 min
What makes mentorship valuable, and should everyone have a mentor? In this episode Tanner and Jasmine discuss their experience with mentors throughout their 20+ years of design and why mentorship often doesn’t take on the appearance the industry thinks it…
Dealing with Rejection
Aug 28, 2019 • 43 min
Rejection can be difficult when searching for a design job. In this episode of New Layer, Jasmine and Tanner talk about the different types of rejection designers often face when applying to or interviewing for a job and how to cope with each. How can you…
Product Design Skillset
Aug 21, 2019 • 45 min
What skills go into product design? At its core, product design consists of: product strategy, interaction design, and visual design, but how do new designers demonstrate each of those skills? And what about supplementary skills like user research,…
Design Critique
Aug 14, 2019 • 44 min
To do our best work we need to get feedback. For that reason critique is a fundamental part of the role we play as product designers. And yet, critique can feel intense for many designers, especially when done poorly. What does the best critique look like…
The Design Process
Aug 7, 2019 • 43 min
What is the design process? There’s a universal, time-tested, overarching process for design that many of us are familiar with, but when it comes to applying that process to any project, you may find it needs to be adapted. In this episode of New Layer,…
Building a Portfolio
Jul 31, 2019 • 45 min
When it comes to showing your work in an online portfolio: how do you decide what goes in it? How much information is too much and how much is not enough? In this episode Jasmine and Tanner discuss best practices for building a compelling online…
Communicating the Value of Design
Jul 24, 2019 • 49 min
How do designers communicate the value of design? When it comes to collaborating with business partners or clients, how do designers help others understand what design does as a function? In this episode hosts Tanner Christensen and Jasmine Friedl discuss…
Interview Design Exercises
Jul 17, 2019 • 57 min
Should design exercises be used as part of an interview process? Tanner and Jasmine talk advantages and disadvantages of design exercises and take home challenges as part of a comprehensive design interview process. Whether you’re a designer hoping to…
Career Paths
Jul 10, 2019 • 42 min
Formal education or self-taught? What’s the best way to get into product design today? In the first episode of New Layer, Tanner and Jasmine discuss the various career pathways to becoming a digital product designer. Whether you’re a self-starter or…